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American Annals of the Deaf

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Sweet Bells Jangled

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Good by, good by, my dearest !
My bravest and my rarest !
I bless thee with a blessing meet
     For all thy manly worth.

Good by, good by, my treasure !
My only pride and pleasure !
I bless thee with the strength of love
     Before I send thee forth.

Mine own ! I fear to bless thee,
I hardly dare caress thee,
Because I love thee with a love
     That overgrows my life ;
And as the time gets longer
Its tender throbs grow stronger :
My maiden troth but waits to be
     The fondness of the wife.

Alas ! alas ! my dearest,
The look of pain thou wearest !
The kisses thou dost bend to give
     Are parting ones to-day !
Thy sheltering arms are round me,
But the cruel pain hath found me.
What shall I do with all this love
     When thou are gone away?

Ah, well ! One poor endeavor
Shall nerve me while we sever ;
I will not fret my hero’s heart
     With piteous sobs and tears.
I send thee forth, my dearest,
My truest and my rarest,
And yield thee to the keep of Him
     Who blessed our happier years.

Once more good-by! and belss thee !
My faltering lips caress thee.
When shall I feel thy hand again
     Go kindly o’er my hair ?
Let the dear arms that fold
One last sweet moment hold me ;
In life or death our love shall be
     No weaker for the wear !


Gone for a year and a day !
I am like a bird that guards the empty nest,
And flutters in and out, and cannot rest,―
Gone for a year and a day !

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